Novo Nordisk (NVO -0.10%) stock didn't enjoy a good start to this week. The company behind the "it" drugs of the moment, Wegovy -- and, to a lesser extent, Ozempic -- saw its share price erode by 2% on Monday, following a media report about its production challenges. By contrast, the S&P 500 index inched up marginally on the day.
Reuters, citing an unnamed "source familiar with the matter," published an article stating that Novo Nordisk has drafted a contract manufacturer in the U.S. to help it assemble and package Wegovy for the market. The company was identified as privately held PCI Pharma Services.
PCI, based in Philadelphia, will assemble the injectable pens used for Wegovy; a cartridge pre-filled with the drug is added at this final stage of manufacturing. The terms of the apparent Novo Nordisk-PCI arrangement are unknown, as is the scope of their deal.
Wegovy and Ozempic are essentially the same drug; the former is a higher-dose version that is aimed at weight loss in ostensibly obese patients. The latter targets Type 2 diabetes.
The drug's weight-loss properties have made Wegovy in particular a very high-demand medication, particularly in the U.S. Novo Nordisk has struggled to meet this demand in the five countries, including the U.S., where it has been made available.
Novo Nordisk refused to comment directly on the source's assertion that PCI is now its Wegovy assembly partner, but this is entirely plausible given the need to ramp up production. The Denmark-based healthcare company did say that it uses external companies for this work to supplement its in-house efforts.